Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > Amnesia (The New Moon Walkthrough pg. 37-52)

Amnesia (The New Moon Walkthrough pg. 37-52)

Amnesia is an awfully convenient story telling device made into quite the cliche for soap operas. I’m not even sure that soap operas even use it anymore but that whenever there is a satire of a soap opera one character always has amnesia. There is some forgetfulness here as well, but the difference is that in those stories and the satires thereof, the amnesia is purposeful. In this book some things are forgotten but no one chalks it up to amnesia. It’s just simply told as what happened.

Carlisle is finishing up stitching Bella’s arm, which as we remember was caused by Edward who threw her into a glass table. The non-sequitor discourse on religion continues, but it’s given a point here. It takes awhile to get to it, and its one of those conversations where they have put the cart before the horse. The whole religion conversation takes place as Carlisle explains it, “Edward’s with me up to a point. God and heaven exist…and so does hell. But he doesn’t believe there is an afterlife for our kind.”

There’s one problem with this, and that is that neither Carlisle nor Edward through Carlisle here have given a reason for this belief. Carlisle was raised by a Pastor so if his reasoning is based on that then he should say something. In this book it’s said as a given, same with Edward’s belief that there is no afterlife for a vampire. He has as much reason for believing this as anyone does for believing that there is an afterlife for them. Maybe Edward will talk about it later for now the only link we have for this is that Edward doesn’t believe that Vampires have souls.

Then we come to the point of the whole thing. The reason that Edward won’t turn Bella into a vampire is because he doesn’t want to take her soul away. How does Edward know this, or even think it? We, again, aren’t given any reason for it. The idea of the soul isn’t new, in fact, it’s one of the oldest theological questions going back to the days of the Pre-Socratics. I may be mistaken but I think the philosopher/mathematician/cult leader Pythagoras was the first in Greek to mention the idea of souls. The Egyptian had a conception of the afterlife but their mythology seemed to dictate that the body was coming with them, I don’t know if that implies soul so I’m going to chalk it up to the Greeks. Carlisle’s point about Edward’s belief is that if Bella was the vampire, “If you believed as he did. Could you take away his soul?”

It’s a great question. One that Carlisle frames in such a way that it shuts up Bella. She admits this as well. This is the first time that we have actually been shown Carlisle’s wisdom, instead of just being told about it. It’s good writing, this brief exchange. Not only do we get resolution on the Vampire question, but we get satisfying resolution as well as some character development. Unfortunately it’s too brief and we go back to the story of Edward.

It was mentioned in the last book that he was turned during the flu outbreak of Chicago near the turn of the century (1900). Edward’s father was dead, his mother and himself dying. Carlisle’s lonliness was getting the better of him when stumbled upon Edward “burning with fever, his life slipping away with each tick of the clock…I shuddered again and forced the picture from my soul.”

The above quote isn’t Carlisle talking, it’s Bella. Which I think is unnecessary. Why not just have Carlisle tell us the damn story since it’s his? The shuddering she mentions isn’t Carlisle shuddering, it’s her dreading the (now defunct) possibility of Edward having died. I might be cold hearted here, but seriously, she’s shivering with dread at something that not only didn’t happen, but didn’t happen over a hundred years ago. It doesn’t seem realistic given its remoteness.

Apparently Edward”s mother made such an appeal that Carlisle had no choice but to turn him into a vampire. He felt she knew what he was and that’s why he did it. She was so forceful about it, like any mother on the planet would be if they thought someone could save their child. I wonder how many other people Carlisle talked to who pleaded for their children’s lives and he thought ‘meh, she’s just not that serious about it.’

The deciding factor was when Carlisle looked at Edward’s face and saw that, “there was something pure and good about his face.”

Ok, we get it. He’s a good person. Stop telling us this. Instead show us that he is good. It’s a fundamental principle of writing and whenever it needs to be displayed that Edward is good we are simply told “he’s good.” At best he’s on the plus side of morality when it comes to protecting people in danger, but that doesn’t make him a good person. It makes him an average one. He rescued Bella from a car accident, something that I think we would all do if we had the chance. In fact, it might even be a moral duty as long as our lives are not also in danger. Which in the case of Bella and Edward, his never was.

Bella is done getting stitched up and needs to go home. Edward of course takes her. It’s awkward in the car as Edward clearly wants to say something but won’t and Bella won’t stop worrying about what he thinks. I’ve been in that situation it’s annoying, and here it’s annoying too. But it’s accurately annoying so we can’t fault our author for it.

Finally the conversation opens up and it’s all about the blame game. The first round of blame goes to Bella who defends Edward by explaining that the whole party mess wasn’t his fault. Are you sure about that Bella? The way it read was the she cut herself on some wrapping paper, after being assisted by Edward (?), in which Jasper growled and then Edward threw Bella into the wall cutting her arm in a more serious manner. That paper cut, could have been just Bella, but she had help from Edward in opening the present. At best we can’t assign blame to the paper cut since it was purely accidental, at worse we can fault them both because the two of them contributed. In either case if anyone is to blame for the paper cut Edward is one of those people.

Secondly, the real problem is the arm. The arm was definitely Edward’s fault. The small drop of blood in the room may have made Jasper growl, but everyone got hungry when she sliced her arm open. Edward had other options, he could have whisked her out of the room, or whisked Jasper out of the room, or literally did anything other than what he did. I’m not saying that he intended for her to get cut to hell, but that is what he did. It really is his fault, but all he ever does is apologize for his family’s behavior, the behavior which is pretty normal given what they are.

Bella is continuing to beat herself up about it and Edward reassures her, “Bella you gave yourself a paper cut–that hardly deserves the death penalty.” Never once does he apologize for gashing her arm open.

Home we might consider Charlie, but since he “was never surprised to see me bandaged” it’s just blown off. He asks her about her arm and then shakes his head. That silly Bella, he must think, always going around and needing stitches.

They make out a bit on the bed and then Edward stops. Something is bothering him but he won’t say. Bella thinks its temptation and for once bluntly asks, “which is tempting you more, my blood or my body?”

It’s a good question and one that deserves an answer. We don’t get it, but for once Bella is being the assertive person that she tells us she is. I guess she forgot that this is completely out of character. 

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